A 17-year-old girl was killed in a “terrible and cowardly” stabbing during a drug turf war, a court has heard.
Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back while playing music and smoking cannabis with friends in a park in Harold Hill, east London, on 1 March.
She was attacked after two figures came out of the dark, noiselessly towards them, the Old Bailey heard.
Manuel Petrovic, 20, Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 19, and two youths, aged 16 and 17, all deny Jodie’s murder.
The jury was told the taller of the two people who came out of the dark was seen swinging his right arm at Jodie’s back.
Jodie suffered a deep wound to her back and was left bleeding heavily.
The attackers disappeared back into the night, the court heard.
A local resident heard her screams and came to help as Jodie’s friends became hysterical, jurors heard.
By the time an ambulance arrived, Jodie showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead en-route to hospital, on the forecourt of a petrol station.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors none of Jodie’s friends had any idea who was responsible for the “terrible and cowardly” attack.
Jurors were told the four defendants were involved in the supply of drugs and one or more of Jodie’s friends had bought cannabis from those accused in the past.
“There is, however, nothing to suggest that Jodie was involved in the supply of drugs or that she might have upset anyone”, Mr Aylett said.
“Indeed, the evidence of her character, accomplishments and popularity are entirely to the contrary.
“So, the prosecution suggest that Jodie is unlikely to have been the intended target; more likely is that the intended target was somebody else altogether.”
Following national publicity, police got a breakthrough when a witness reported two males getting into a stationary black Vauxhall Corsa.
Mr Aylett said Jodie’s murder might have gone unsolved if not for the chance sighting.
A couple of hours after the killing, a black Corsa registered to Mr Petrovic was found abandoned about two miles away, he said.
Following his arrest, Mr Petrovic admitted driving to Harold Hill with a friend and two others who had gone into the park to collect money and drugs.
He denied knowing the pair were armed beforehand, the court heard.
Mr Aylett said: “If the prosecution are right in saying that Jodie Chesney was an entirely blameless individual who got caught up in some quarrel between drug dealers then her murder was the terrible but predictable consequence of an all-too casual approach to the carrying and using of knives.”
The trial continues.